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Vikter Duplaix

Bold and Beautiful

For Bold and Beautiful, Philadelphia artist Vikter Duplaix removes the nightclub gloss of his debut album, 2003's International Affairs. That recording was a sensual foray into future jazz, and featured tracks such as "Looking for Love" (as in "I was looking for love in all the wrong places"). On Bold and Beautiful, he leaves behind the one-night stands for monogamous relationships. "I spent so much time trying to avoid anything that felt true and meaningful/Now I'm headed for so much more," he sweetly sings on "Make a Baby," the disc's best track. An excellent producer, he creates a tone that is lush and balletic, and even mid-tempo cuts such as "I See the Sun," with its skittering Afrobeat drums, are folded within pillowy synth washes. Bold and Beautiful is a worthwhile slow-love jam that marks Duplaix's transition from international player to dedicated lover, though it could use some of the hardness and edge that defined his earlier work. 3 stars